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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  September 1, 2017 12:30am-1:01am BST

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lam i am ben bland with news. our top stories: across south asia aid agencies are trying to help millions of people affected by flooding. more than 1200 people are believed to have died. it's thought to be the worst monsoon season in decades, with tens of thousands of people forced from their homes in india, nepal and bangladesh. us officials say rescue operations are continuing across texas to help victims of storm harvey. floodwaters are expected to peak in some areas later on friday. some 100,000 homes have been affected and at least 33 people have died. and this story is trending on the english premier league's record summer spending has come to an end with the closure of the transfer window. across europe, more than $4.8 billion has been spent in the top five leagues. eye watering amounts! that's all from me now. stay with bbc world news. now on bbc news, it is time for hardtalk. hello and welcome to
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hardtalk, i'm shaun ley. it's the divorce of the century, but who will pay the bill? as the uk negotiates its exit from the european union, the optimists believe it can reshape global trade, freeing it from the barriers to outsiders that any customs union of group of countries creates. that task is harder, though, because british running as the theresa may threw away her parliamentary majority in a general election that's left the government severely weakened. —— british prime minister. my guest today, nicky morgan, is worried about brexit, and indeed opposed it, and her view matters, notjust because she used to be in the british cabinet but because she's just taken the chair of one of parliament's most important watchdogs, the treasury committee. mrs morgan describes herself as an insurgent, what or who is she prepared to overthrow? nicky morgan, welcome to hardtalk.
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after you were dismissed from the cabinet by theresa may when she became prime minister you said, "i'm revelling in being part of the awkward squad." should the government be worried? well, thank you first of all for having me. well, i think... when you're released if you like from the bounds of collective responsibility it's nice to be able to ask the questions from the backbenches that you otherwise couldn't have asked. and yes, i think as you said in your introduction, brexit is a huge deal for this country in so many different ways, and i think there are a lot of us who have many questions still to be answered, and we'll do that, and the more you put former ministers onto back benches and into select committees, we know how government works, we know which bits to press.
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you're also the people who in a sense have motive and the opportunity because you're not worried about your chance of promotion any more. i think you said, "i'm not interested in sucking up to anybody, we're the insurgents now." well, i think it's about asking those questions... is it because you want to halt and reverse brexit? look, i don't renege from the fact i was a committed campaigner for the remain side of the debate. but you accept it's going to happen. i do accept it's going to happen. nno second referendum 7 i'm not in favour of a second referendum. i think if you ask people a question... if politicians or the establishment say we're not keen on the answer, let's have another go, actually that breaks down that trust between politicians and the electorate even further. i think we have a situation now that needs to be negotiated in the national interests. but the point is, and i think this brexit issue if you like, has put before politicians that question of country before party or which way does it work in a way that i haven't seen, certainly i've been in parliament for seven years, i've been involved
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in the conservative party for 28 years, i haven't seen that question put in this way before. so this is fundamental stuff that affects notjust internal british political life but has implications for the national interest and potentially for europe, and even beyond that? well, absolutely. one of the reasons i was a committed remain campaigner was i felt our geopolitical place in the world... we had more power and influence being influential in the eu, that's what our allies around the world wanted us to be. look, that's not going to be the case, we're still going to have a deep and special partnership, as the prime minister says, with europe. the prime minister hopes that will be the case and that depends on negotiations, which havejust began again a couple of days before we're speaking. you've asked for further information from the bank of england on what the implications of brexit are, but you're not exactly asking a neutral player, are you? mark carney, the governor of the bank, was heavily criticised after the referendum because he issued some dire warnings about what would follow from a vote to leave the european union, many of which have
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not come to place. in a sense he's one of the experts your cabinet colleague... former cabinet colleague michael gove said the british had heard enough from. there was a whole point behind that, it was shortened to we're not listening to experts now. i think mark carney as the bank of england governor was right to warn of the potential consequences. of course at the moment brexit hasn't happened and we are some way from that split, expected in march, 2019. i think we're beginning to see that working its way through the economy. but even the questions you're posing are kind of loaded, aren't they? you talk about the cliff edge facing businesses when we leave. so it's going to be in your view a cliff edge we're going to be dropping off. it's a cause for concern. you say the risks of the eu not agreeing a divorce agreement with britain views on the desirability of a traditional arrangement to provide more timely to negotiate and prepare. this is nicky morgan, who wanted to remain in the eu,
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revelling in being the awkward squad, to quote your words. i think you are able, as a politician, i'm a former lawyer as well, to take on the role as a chair of a select committee. you are there to hold government accountable to parliament. parliament is going to be hugely important in this process, we're asking the questions that our constituents want us to ask. but i think anybody who thinks brexit is going to be easy and painless has not been straight with the british public. these things are always doable, there will be a negotiation, i very much expect that there will be an end deal, but it's going to be bumpy and i think people are realising that. what do you make of how the european union is handling these negotiations? a couple of days ago jean—claude juncker, president of the commission, said he's seen all the position papers the british government submitted in the summer, a pretty substantial pile of papers, and he said none of them is satisfactory. i think it's to be expected.
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i was eu budget minister for a while a couple of years ago and eu negotiations, both sides often dance around a bit and a deal is done eventually often towards the end of the allotted time period. i wouldn't expect any less or any more from the eu at the moment. 0n those position papers, though, i do have to wonder that it's good to see the details and the clarity that we now have, but there's a lot still to be resolved. i do wonder how it's taken 12 months to get to that particular level of detail. i think a parliament select committee chairmen like me and parliament are going to ask for a lot more detail. british government ministers can be expected to be hauled in front of you more frequently than over the last year or so by the previous committee? the previous committees have been very active already. but yes, there will be plenty of cross—examination and i think committees like mine and others won't just be focusing on our own ministers, if you like, normally the treasury select committee would quiz treasury ministers, but of course we're going to be interested in ministers in the department for exiting the eu.
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and there may well be other relevant enquiries where we will ask in other ministers too because brexit is such a big thing, it crosses so many different parts of government. would you like to hear from the prime minister because in a sense she embodies the whole government. what happens is the chairs of the select committee are part of a bigger committee called the liaison committee that quizzes the prime minister twice a year at least so i would expect that brexit and negotiations will come up in the next liaison committee meeting. in terms of the particular proposals, there's frustration not on the british side only, the association of german chambers of commerce and industry said in the course of this week that politicians need to put shared economic interests first. it's really worried about the delays in this process. it says it wants a temporary customs arrangement with britain for this transition period. do you share that ambition that there should be something in place very soon so that we are then able to prepare the ground for the 31st of march and that businesses don't find something that will almost change overnight? one of the important moves this summer, an acceptance from the british government
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that there will be a transition period asked for. this is a negotiation. we don't know what the eu will offer up. i think it's very important to listen to the voice of business, not least because they are critical to a strong economy, they are employers and i think it's very encouraging to hear the views of german business as well, and they will no doubt be talking to their own government. but yes, i think the issue is, although we have until technically march, 2019... actually it will be before that period when the negotiations end because there has to be time for the eu and uk parliaments to approve the final agreements. we also know, and i'll be asking for further evidence on this, is that british businesses, particularly financial institutions, are going to make decisions within the next few months, if not weeks, about where they're going to locate, where their employees are going to be, how they're going to be able to set themselves up in europe going forward.
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so we don't have 18 months, i think we probably have a matter of six to seven months to really get to the nub of this. those are options, aren't they? of course they're going to look at what we would do if britain actually were to be unable to agree a deal with the european union, that's entirely prudent. it's a bit like the uk businesses that were considering leaving scotland if scotland had voted to leave. now here we are going to leave but that's not to say there's not going to be an arrangement. let me put to you what gerard lyons, who's a member of economists for free trade, these were the people who backed brexit said in the sun newspaper in august. he said the league ranking financial centres has london at number one. its rivals new york, singapore, hong kong. that's where the future competition is. those banks have all got bases there already. that is the threat if there is one. it's not really europe. it's not amsterdam, it's not frankfurt, it's not paris, much as they may wish it was. to follow a famous phrase,
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he would say that, wouldn't he, given his particular views. he used to work for your colleague, the foreign secretary borisjohnson. there we are. and we know which side boris is on in the referendum debate. the point is there a number of businesses, we know some of the banks are looking seriously at frankfurt, we know paris is on manoeuvres to try and tempt business overseas and we know businesses are preparing. you're right to say of course everyone hopes we don't get to a cliff edge no deal scenario but they have to prepare for the worst case and making decisions employment, finding the local regulatory licenses, those take months, not weeks, not days, so people are preparing. one of his colleagues, professor patrick minford, said he thinks brexit can in many ways be compared to the event that gave birth to your political party, the modern version of your polictical party, the repeal of the corn laws and he says we should simply abolish trade barriers without asking others to do the same, just as we did in 1846
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when sir robert peel, that revolutionary insurgent in uk politics, basically abandoned the pricey form of protectionism that kept up the price of corn when farmers in britain were under pressure. it reduced the price of fruit, it helped stimulate the industrial revolution, never mind changing the whole political dynamic and arguably providing the base on which the conservative party still thrives, the party of free trade and of enterprise. i think two things i'd say. patrick minford was one of the people who said during the course of the referendum said it would be ok if our manufacturing industry just disappeared. i know as an mp representing a heavenly manufacturing based area that that would not be a good thing for local employment or four our local or national economy. the other thing is a lot of this debate is we would like this, we would like that, we would like no tariffs but what are the other markets going to do? the moment another market or country puts up a tariff or barrier then the response from our businesses, different sectors, is going to be,
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actually the uk needs to do the same. i think to actually expect there to be unlimited free trade is not actually... it doesn't really reflect the world that we live in in the 21st—century. and you're worried a world in which donald trump for example has been so critical of free trade and the consequences of free trade for many people who have lost out is not actually a world in which that bright scenario for britain beckons. ijust don't think... i think at the end of the day we will, as i said before, it will be bumpy for a while. there will be a future for britain, many people are confident it will be a bright future and i hope that's absolutely the case. so you don't want to play cassandra in this role as chairman of the select committee? if you're always sounding the alarm that people are dealing with that part of the debate rather than looking forward. i think that's what the british people now do expect their politicians to do, but also to be realistic. you talk about looking forward, in a strange way we appear in terms of the politics of your party
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to have gone backwards, some of the divisions which were the slow acting poison which arguably almost destroyed it 20 years ago and put it in opposition for a decade appear to be back. in the words of your former leader david cameron, is the party now doomed to bang on about europe for years to come again? i really hope not. europe has been a fault line running through the conservative party for a long time now, pretty much all the time i've been involved in politics and many others as well. in a way having had the referendum we now don't have the voices saying we've got to leave the eu, it's going to happen, so we now have to negotiate in the national interests and get the best possible deal for the country. but i think one of the other challenges is going to be, and i think perhaps in this autumn ahead, we have our party conference coming up, is how the prime minister and ministers set out what else the conservative party in government is going to be doing, because that's very important. the danger of that getting squeezed out? the danger is the whole oxygen of whitehall is sucked into this whole brexit debate, and that's inevitable because it's
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very big, very challenging and very complex. but actually we know there are many other reasons and issues people want us to tackle and many reasons why people voted to leave in the referendum which won't be solved by brexit. those policy ideas to tackle those issues, for example lack of employment opportunities or poor education in parts of the country, have to be dealt with by government departments at the same time. actually, this is a city outside of dong yang, i wonder, though, how much opportunity there's going to be, in parliament, to do that. because notwithstanding the deal which your party made with a small northern irish party, the democratic unionists, to give it some kind of majority in key votes. the fact is, it would only take a dozen or so of your colleagues to rebel — perhaps people like yourself, who were supporters
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of staying in the eu, or particular details of brexit — for the whole process to be slowed down. i mean, there is a real risk here, isn't there, that actually this becomes — whether you like it or not — the absolutely dominant issue for the next 18 months, and everything is crowded out. you're right. there is a huge risk that this becomes a huge issue and the only issue that is talked about. and i have to say that would be wrong for a number of reasons. first of all, there are some big issues that i think people expect us to — to tackle. i think many people think, you know, "the referendum happened injune 2016, why are they still talking about it? " and so that's about explaining about the detail, the level of complexity of any deal. but also, it would be bad news for the conservative party. let me ask you, though — you talk about the danger of the party — if it doesn't hang together, it hangs apart. your colleague, anna soubry, who, like you, was a supporter of remain, a former minister, sacked by mrs may, the prime minister, wrote an article, this month, in which she said, you know, "could i ever see myselfjoining with like—minded people who want to save our country
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from the appalling fate of hard brexit? well, at the moment, i can only say ‘not now, but it's not impossible.”' and if you have people like that saying "i could ultimately vote against my party or leave my party, because of this issue," that adds to the instability, doesn't it? well, it would be a tremendous shame if people like anna felt like the conservative party was no longerfor them. anna is a totally committed conservative, and it is a pleasure to work alongside her, both in cabinet, and now in parliament. you mentioned putting country before policy. well, i was going to say, it takes us back... but this is not an issue that is just entirely academic. yeah — it — it's not entirely academic. it does take us back to that debate. it's such a huge, important issue for the future of the country for the next generations that there are people who feel strongly about it. but it goes back, also, to the leadership of my party, and making it clear that the conservative party is and remains a broad church on this issue, as on others. there will be differing views,
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but there is space for everybody. because we need people like anna, who is a talented midlands — east midlands member of parliament — to win seats like hers, in the same way we need other people to win seats in other parts of the country. and as you, yourself, have said before, your seat, loughborough, the seat you represent, and her seat, also in the midlands, are seats that were labour—held seats. you had to — when you didn't win it the first time — you had to convince people... absolutely. ..the party had to convince people — so therefore you don't feel that they are guaranteed to stay conservative at the next election? yeah, look, and we know the whole reason a seat is marginal is because there are people who change their minds. it's been held by other seats in the past. in order to win what we call a marginal seat, it's about building a coalition of voters, persuading them of the — that the — the — your cause, the fact that they want to support your party at this time. so you're always conscious that that's not going to last forever. so the conservative party
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are thinking all the time about a message that will appeal to those voters in the middle. and i think we're better when we appeal to the centre ground. but i've also been personally clear that i don't think that people like me, like anna, should feel that the conservative party does not — that there's no place for us there. i think it would be a mistake in terms of appealing to the broad collection of voters that we need to appeal to win. the former chancellor of the exchequer — an ally of yours — george osborne, dismissed with some relish by theresa may last year, described her after this year's disappointing election result — with more than a little relish of his own, you might imagine — as a "dead woman walking". how much longer do you think she can remain upright? well, look, i had the pleasure of working with george in the treasury, and it was, you know — he was a very good person to work for. i think it's very difficult, in terms of leadership, i think it's a bit of a fool's errand, sometimes, to predict how long somebody will last, who is going to take over, and everything else. i have been clear that i don't think
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theresa may is the right person to text of the next election. and think everybody would agree, in the conservative party, that it was not the election that we sought, nor that we expected. it is going to be harder because we don't have the majority, in terms of putting our programme of government through. mrs may was asked by the bbc in an interview week, "is it your intention to lead the tory party into the next general election?" and her response was "yes, i'm here for the long term." it's difficult to predict what's — what's ahead. but you don't want her to lead the party into the next election. i feel that there were mistakes made in the general election campaign. there was a focus very much on one person, which i think is a mistake, because i think the conservative party is a team. there were mistakes in the way the manifesto was handled. but no leader wants to put a date on their departure in advance. david cameron found this difficult when he said that he was going to go — what we thought was going to be halfway through a parliament, towards 2018—19 — because then you are sort of signing off on your own political mortality. she's done more than that, hasn't she?
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she's said whatever she might have felt a few months ago, in immediate aftermath of the election, when she was saying to the party "look, i accept that it was my fault, and i have to build bridges, be more broad and consensual and open." she is now saying, "stuff you, i can carry on. "i can carry on." can she carry on to the next election? would you be comfortable standing for re—election under theresa may? i would stand as a conservative, and so i would stand on a conservative platform... you'd be asked, though, "do you support the prime minister?" i think theresa may's had — she's had a difficult first year as prime minister. an election that didn't go the way we wanted. there are changes that've been made now at number 10, some great appointments. but voters will ask, did she support strong and stable leadership, and a lot of them said "no, thank you." labour's vote went up to its biggest since 1945 in terms of the share of the vote! well — but — the conservatives had a, you know — my seat, for example, i think i've the highest certainly vote share that the conservatives have had since it's been on the current boundaries, for example. but you've got a government that
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doesn't have a majority. as i say, i can't — you can't get away from the results. what could she change that could make her acceptable to you as a leader for the next election? i think one of the things that's been missing, you know, a real move to reconcile the fault lines in the conservative party, which are particularly are shown up by europe. i think, in the autumn of last year, there was a real attempt to sort of sideline the 48%, people like me, who had voted remain, and going all—out brexit. actually, the election result put a brake on that. i have been clear, i've written articles to say that the tone, the way that the government and number10 is run — i think these thigs are changing — it's very important that they do, in terms of bringing a united party together. if the prime minister and her cabinet were able to do that, to build a real team effort, to make sure the cabinet was working as a team, the party was together, those of us on different sides of the europe debate are actually working alongside each other, that would be a real step forward. the evening standard newspaper in london, which is edited by george osborne, wrote an interesting article a few days ago, talking about the feeling
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that the party was out of step, particularly with young voters. it quoted a couple of unnamed tory mps: "the feelings is, the current cabinet does not represent us." "they're not attracting younger voters." "there's a genuine fear for the party's future." "the generation on top, borisjohnson, david davis," the man who's negotiating brexit, "are bluffers. things are serious at the moment — we don't want bluffers. there's a real dismay at the mediocrity of theresa may's team." are they right about that? we have some very talented cabinet ministers. but not all of them are competent? i think you have to keep all of them, all cabinet ministers, look, i had my review period. i was handed my p45. so i think everybody has a shelf life. i think you do want to make sure that the team you've got is a real team, and they're all hanging together, and working together, and supporting each other. but if you change the faces around the table so that's going to appeal to younger voters is a mistake. the prime minister was too weak, even, to do that, wasn't she? she just moved a few people in differentjobs, but she didn't bring in new blood, she didn't get rid of...
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there wasn't a — there wasn't a big reshuffle. there was talk about having one. that shows how weak the prime minister is. that's why a prime minister can't stay in office after what happened, forever, can she? i think it could be difficult, for the reason they to lead us into the next general election, but i think, just into the younger voters, i think think about it, we have got to think as a party how we're going appeal, because the trouble is, if you look at the way that the votes stacked up, we got a lot of votes amongst all the people, not amongst younger people. we've got to think how we're to renew our franchise. and the older people are dying off, and the younger ones, there's going to be more and more of them. of course. i represent a university in my own constituency. so you've got to have views and policies and values that appeal to the younger generation. i don't think that means the prime minister needs to bring in new people in order to do that, to have that fresh policy thinking. we shouldn't be afraid of that, but, going back to where we started, we have this massive challenge of brexit. we've got to deliver interest. nicky morgan, former cabinet minister, now chair
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of the treasury select committee in the house of commons, thank you very much for being on hardtalk. today marks the first day of the meteorological autumn, so i thought we would start with a summary of summer. a decent start. temperatures soared up to 35 celsius back in june, but since then it has been rather disappointing. a cool second—half, especially in august. the first few weeks terrible and quite wet at times too. this morning we get off to a chilly start of the day. out in the countryside, temperatures down to about 3—4 degrees in the coldest spots first thing, so a chill in the air. apart from that there will be plenty of morning sunshine. most areas having a dry morning as well. but into the early afternoon the cloud will bubble up, especially in eastern parts of the uk. a scattering of showers begins to develop.
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a largely dry picture in scotland. a few showers towards the borders and certainly into eastern counties of england. those showers get going. some of them will be heavy. thunder mixed in, but pretty well scattered. in the sunshine, wherever you are during the day on friday, there will be pleasant sunshine and it should feel reasonable, with temperatures generally into the high teens to the low 20s and a lightish north—westerly breeze in parts of the country. during the evening, those showers begin to fade away slowly. the second half of the night should become dry, and with clearing skies it will be another chilly night. so to start off the weekend again temperatures down to about 11—12 degrees. colder than that in the countryside. about 3—4 in the coldest spots. what about the weekend weather prospects? definitely a weekend of two halves. saturday with the best of it. sunny spells for the most part. but on sunday, after a bright start,
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particularly in the east, we start to see a band of rain moving across the uk. here is the pressure chart for the weekend. high pressure initially. there's this zone of wet weather moving into the second half of the weekend, with strengthening winds. in more detail, saturday is a decent day, with sunshine. dry for the vast majority. temperatures doing pretty well. high teens to low 20s, with light winds. ill feel pleasant in that september sunshine. most temperatures towards south—east england. we will see this rain encroach overnight into northern ireland. after a bright start to the day across eastern scotland, much of england will see cloud thicken up. outbreaks of rain moving in and it will turn breezy. temperatures 18—19 degrees typically. that's your latest weather. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon in singapore. the headlines. weeks after the worst flooding in decades, a third of bangladesh is still underwater.
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in the united states, 100,000 homes have been damaged by hurricane harvey. the white house is to ask congress for emergency funding. i'm ben bland in london. also in the programme, the english premier league transfer window closes after clubs spend well over a billion pounds on new players. another problem for the great barrier reef — why coral bleaching is putting off tourists. live from our studios in singapore and london,
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